Tag Archives: Radio One

A Depressing Quote

This quote from Radio One’s Clara Anfo, taken from a Guardian feature in which various pundits and tastemakers were asked their predictions for 2017, is profoundly depressing.

In pop music, you can have guys and girls who all look amazing and they might have brilliant songs, but if they can’t bring it to life, if they haven’t got the spunk to bring what they’re supposedly trying to sell to interviews, or on the radio or online, I’m not going to be interested.

In her world, there is apparently no room for anyone for whom the most interesting thing about them is the music they make, even if those are the very people who ultimately make the best music. No, it’s all about being the right sort of media celebrity. It doesn’t matter how good your songs are if you don’t have the right back story.

I could say “I must be getting old” at this point, except that this nonsense is nothing new. In 2017, just like every other year, the best music will fly completely under the radar of the media tastemakers and gatekeepers. The “mainstream” has always been clogged up with ephemeral celebrity fluff.

The job of the rest of us is to signal-boost the good stuff so that it can find an audience.

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Tony Blackburn

Tony BlackburnThere’s a great piece in The Quietus about Tony Blackburn, which is well worth a read.

Rock fans always sneered at Tony Blackburn, with his catchphrase “What a sensational sound”. But when you look back at his career and the popular but unfashionable music he championed, he had far more in common with the late great Tommy Vance than he ever did with Jimmy Saville and his ilk. When it came to soul and disco music he knew his stuff and expressed a genuine enthusiasm for the music he played. And much of it has stood the test of time. As Pete Paphides himself says, he listens far more to Luther Vandross more than to Joy Division nowadays.

The same hipsters who had no time for Tony Blackburn also had no time for Tommy Vance or the rock and metal he played. That’s because both of them were the antithesis of the hipster mentality.

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